EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I am often asked by our members to give them a “formula” for constructing their very own 90-second announcement. If only that were practical.

The problem with 90-second announcements is very much related to the very limited time you are allowed. Having been in the advertising business for nearly a decade, I can tell you why advertising creative people make so much money. It is just plain difficult to hone a message to 90-seconds, let alone 30-seconds as they normally have to do.

Your own message needs to be tailored to you, unlike your resume which for the most part should conform to accepted formatting standards. Other than telling others your name, most of what you say is up to you.

I do suggest “staking out your territory.” By this I mean, I tell people that my background is primarily advertising and publishing. By starting out in this way, I give people a context to absorb the information that comes next. Everything should sort of hang off your opening statement.

Like the summary at the top of your resume, it is in the nature of an advertising promise, and you need to deliver on it. If you are a manufacturing expert, a retailing expert, or a mergers & acquisition expert, staking out your territory allows us to know what we are listening to and what we should be listening for.

Everyone is different. The strengths and weaknesses we bring to the party are part and parcel of who we are and what we do. Your goal is to make that clear in “25 words or less.” Not an easy task.

More importantly, and at the risk of sounding too specialized, you need to explain your industry and the work you did in that industry that made you special. Not only do you perform magic at the office, but you are a special person when you get to work your charm.

When I tell an audience that “most of the people I worked with on a daily basis were under psychiatric care for good and valid reasons.” I mention this because managing the diverse and strong personalities that make up a successful advertising agency and getting them to work together to make tons of money is a unique skill, and not one well understood outside of our industry. Although law firms are similar, my belief is that at least lawyers tend to be logical thinkers. As you can see, even in a related industry, the magic to make it all happen is different and unique.

What made your industry difficult and what did you do to manage within it? How did you apply the many skills you have acquired over the years to those unique circumstances? What words will convey that difficulty in the most memorable terms?

While we are all accountants by nature, we are also magicians. Those who exist outside of our unique skill sets are often in awe of what we do. I know we are “awe shucks” modest most of the time, but your 90-second announcement is no time to blend.

Promote the magic. Say something important about yourself and you will be well on your way to being awarded that cone shaped hat with the stars on it. (No not a dunce cap.)

(If you go to our website: Member Area, Member Downloads, Other Useful Documents, you will find a document titled “90-Second Announcements” written by Peggy Bud. My wife is a Speech Pathologist by education and an expert in communication strategies. I think it will help you create a more effective 90-Second Announcement. Fan mail should be sent to Peggy@PeggyBud.com.)

Regards, Matt

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